Local government ROUNDUP
Recent activity by local government boards:
∫HARRISVILLE — The Alcona County Board of Commissioners appointed Craig Johnston as chairman and Adam Brege as vice chairman during its Jan. 2 organizational meeting. The board also set its schedule for the year and will meet at 10 a.m. on the first and third Wednesdays of each month in the boardroom at the county building, 106 N 5th St. in Harrisville.
∫ ATLANTA — Dave Wagner and Don Edwards were appointed as the new chairman and vice chairman, respectively, for the Montmorency Board of County Commissioners during the board’s Jan. 2 organizational meeting.
Newly elected Commissioner Gary Girardin was sworn in. Girardin replaces Stacy Carroll, whose term ended in December. He will serve a two-year term.
The board also set its schedule for the year, and will meet at 9 a.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month in the boardroom at the county building, 12265 M-32 in Atlanta. The only exception occurs in December, when the board will meet at 9 a.m. Dec. 26 instead of meeting on Christmas Day.
The Montmorency County Board of Commissioners also approved the purchase of a Ford Taurus for the Sheriff’s Department. The county will pay $33,365 for the vehicle, which board Secretary Linda Uchwal says is a new purchase for the Sheriff’s Department. Although the board voted to approve the purchase in December, funds to pay for the vehicle will come out of the county’s 2019 budget.
∫ ROGERS CITY — Lee Gapczynski and Carl Altman were appointed as the new chairman and vice chairman, respectively, for the Presque Isle County Board of Commissioners during its Jan. 2 organizational meeting.
Newly elected Commissioners Nancy Shutes and John Chappa took their seats on the board. They will serve two-year terms. Shutes replaces Bob Schell as the county’s District 1 commissioner and Chappa replaces Stephen Lang as the county’s District 5 commissioner.
The board also set its meetings for the year. The board will meet at 4 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month and at 9:30 a.m. the last Friday of each month in the boardroom of the county building, 151 E. Huron Ave. in Rogers City.
Also in Presque Isle County, the Board of Commissioners are among a number of counties in the state considering the adoption of a “drug free workplace policy statement” since recreational marijuana use was legalized in November.
Legal Counsel Joe Kwiatkowski told the board the county’s federal funding could be put in jeopardy if an employee was non-compliant with the Federal Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988. He used the example of an employee who might get high on a lunch break and then return to work.
The policy states that an employee cannot make, possess, consume or distribute illegal drugs in the workplace. Employees who violate the policy — even if it’s a first offense — would be subject to disciplinary action, which could include termination.
“This is being recommended statewide by counsel in Lansing who have evaluated this and I agree with their evaluation,” Kwiatkowski said.
He asked commissioners to review the policy so they could consider adopting it at a future meeting.
The Presque Isle board also approved a contract for attorneys Michael Vogler and James Gilbert to provide legal services as the county’s indigent defense counsel, representing criminal defendants who can’t afford their own lawyer. The attorneys will be paid a combined $66,000 this year, with each attorney receiving $2,700 per month.
In addition, they will be paid $160 per misdemeanor case, $100 per hour for the initial client interview and $100 per hour for arraignments. The attorneys are responsible for completing 12 hours of continuing legal education that’s been approved by the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission.